Wenatchee City Cemetery

Chelan County, Washington

Obit & Bio

Submitted by: Margaret Haynes


Agnes Clara (Gerdes) Brewer Lewis
December 19, 1915 - July 19, 2007

Agnes Clara (Gerdes) Brewer Lewis
Born December 19, 1915, in Perry, Noble Co., Oklahoma
Died July 19, 2007, in Wenatchee, Chelan Co., Washington
Buried in Wenatchee City Cemetery, Chelan Co., Washington
Married #1 Ned Brewer, Sept. 20, 1932, Married #2 Eldridge A. Lewis on Dec. 14, 1968 in Reno, Washoe Co., Nevada
Daughter of William J. Gerdes and Mary Elizabeth "Liz" (Clark) Gerdes


Agnes Clara (Gerdes) Brewer Lewis

Mrs. Agnes Clara Brewer Lewis went to be with the Lord on July 19, 2007, after an extended illness.

Agnes Clara Gerdes was born December 19, 1915, in Perry, Noble County, Oklahoma, to William J. and Mary Elizabeth (Clark) Gerdes. She was reared and attended schools in Hutchinson, Kansas. Agnes married Ned Brewer in 1932, and they raised six children: two daughters, Betty and Mary; and four sons, Edward, Donald, Richard, and Bill. The family moved to Pueblo, Colorado, and lived there until moving to Wenatchee, Washington, in 1952. Agnes worked as a chef at the Columbia Hotel, the Cascadian Hotel, and at the Copper Kettle Restaurant.

Agnes moved to California in 1965. She married Eldridge A. Lewis on December 14, 1968, in Reno, Nevada. The couple made their home in Salinas, California, where Agnes worked as a chef at the Hyatt House Hotel. She was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW, and the Moose Lodge, both in Salinas, California. The couple returned to Wenatchee to be near family in 1989. Her husband died in 1991.

Agnes's main interests were her children and grandchildren. She also enjoyed going to church and working in her yard.

She died Thursday, July 19, 2007, at a nursing home in Wenatchee, Washington.

Survivors included her children, two daughters, Mrs. Betty (Brewer) Williams and her husband Wayne of Wenatchee, Washington, and Mary (Brewer) Van Rijn of Odessa, Washington; three sons, Edward Brewer and his wife Ruth, Donald Brewer of Odessa, Washington, and Richard Brewer of Spokane, Washington; 17 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Eldridge, in 1991; two brothers; four sisters; two grandchildren; and a son, Bill Brewer.

Visitation was on Wednesday, July 25, 2007, at Jones & Jones Funeral Home of Wenatchee. A celebration of her life was held on Thursday, July 26, 2007, at Jones & Jones Colonial Chapel, with Pastor Steve Whitney officiating. Music selections were, "Wings of a Dove" and "Amazing Grace".

Casket Bearers were Keith Brewer, Ed Brewer, Greg Brewer, Sam Sinclair, Joe Sinclair, and Rory Sinclair.

A graveside service followed at the Wenatchee Cemetery, in Wenatchee, Chelan Co., Washington, with arrangements by Jones & Jones Funeral Home of Wenatchee.


Bio by Margaret E. Haynes:

This bio of Agnes is possible through the combined help of Agnes's daughter and granddaughter, my mother, and records available to me through research and family files, thanks to all of you.

Agnes Clara (Gerdes) Brewer Lewis was the daughter of William J. "Bill" Gerdes and Mary Elizabeth "Liz" (Clark) Gerdes. Mary Elizabeth was a sister of my maternal grandmother Rebecca Rose (Clark) Patton.

Agnes was the eighth child of the nine children of William and Mary Elizabeth (Clark) Gerdes. The nine children were: John Henry, Fred Herman, Mary Rosellen, Anna Elizabeth, Margaret M., Leonard William, Esther Julia, Agnes Clara, and Paul Edward Gerdes.

With this large family, the older children and the younger ones were several years apart, the oldest, John Henry was born December 1899 and the youngest, Paul, was born in 1917. When Agnes was born in 1915, her birth was only three years after the family had suffered the tragic loss of a son, John "Johnny", and a baby sister Margaret, when the family home near Perry, Oklahoma, took a direct hit from a tornado in April 1912, and their mother was severely injured. In December 1917, when Agnes was two years old, her family had returned to Cabool, Missouri, where her mother had grown up, and her mother gave birth to her ninth child. During 1918, the Influenza epidemic was raging. Agnes's mother became ill with the influenza and it developed into lobar pneumonia. Agnes's mother, Mary Elizabeth, died in December 1918, when she was thirty-four years old. When she died, Agnes was only three years old, so she never really knew her mother and only heard random stories about her while growing up.

After her mother's death, Agnes's father became the single parent of seven children. In April 1920, he married Clara May (McBride) Dorrell, who was a widow with five children, thus the Gerdes family grew to twelve children. Agnes's older sister Rosellen married in November 1920, and her older brother Fred and sister Anna married a few years later. Her father and stepmother then had children together so the house was always full of children.

Agnes Gerdes was first married to Ned Brewer. Their daughter Betty wrote, "My Mom married my dad on September 20, 1932. They had six children, four boys and two girls. I was the oldest, then Bill, Ed, Don, Mary, and Dick."

Her daughter Betty sent me the photo of Agnes which accompanies this bio. I commented on how lovely Agnes was and her dress was very pretty. Betty wrote, "Looking at pictures of when my mom and dad were young and even after I was born, my Mother was a classy dresser, and dad wore bib overalls. My dad was also very restless, and moved us around a lot.

"When I was 10 we lived on a ranch in Utah, and my parents worked there on the ranch. And sometimes we lived with relatives. I took care of the younger children. My mom was a hard worker and worked right along side of dad. My first experience at watching children, was when my mom went to the hospital to have Dick and they took me out of school to watch my younger siblings. All of us children were born in Hutchinson, Kansas, except Dick who was born after we moved to Pueblo, Colorado. After Dick was born they settled down while us children went to school and mom worked for the State Hospital in Pueblo, Colorado."

Betty wrote, "Mom was working in a café in Pueblo and I was a senior in High School, when my Dad decided to move again so we packed up and moved to Leavenworth, Washington, and Mom work at a small Mini Mart, then we lived in Monitor and Mom walked to Wenatchee. Washington, and got a job at the Nite and Day cafe as cook and I washed dishes." After that, Agnes was employed as a cook at the Columbia Hotel, Ed and I also worked there. When the Columbia Hotel closed, she went to work at the Cascadian Hotel as a cook, and when her supervisor there, was transferred to California, Agnes moved there and worked at the Salinas Hyatt House, where she became a chef.

Agnes married the second time to Eldridge A. Lewis on December 14, 1968 in Reno, Nevada. They lived in Salinas, California. Her daughter said Eldridge was very good to her and her children. Betty often went with them to the dances at the Moose Lodge where Eldridge and Agnes were members.

Christmas tradition from her daughter, "Since Mom worked on Christmas we all got up at 5:00 a.m. to open gifts before she left for work and I would fix dinner for that day. I still carried that tradition on when my children were growing up." Agnes had brown hair, and her eyes were blue and had a happy twinkle in them. When I saw the photo of Agnes that her daughter Betty sent to me, I knew on sight that she would be a delight to know. Her daughter said, "Yes, Mom had a good sense of humor, and never said an unkind word about anyone. She taught us kids that if we couldn't say anything nice about someone not to say anything at all."

Agnes loved to embroider, and collect dolls and some blue and white statues and plates that she especially liked. She loved to get out in her flower and vegetable garden in early morning until noon while she lived in California and in Washington. After she moved back to Washington state, she liked to entertain with big dinners for all her family.

Agnes Clara (Gerdes) Brewer Lewis died after an extended illness, on July 19, 2007, at a nursing home in Wenatchee, Chelan Co., Washington. Burial was in Wenatchee City Cemetery, in Wenatchee, Washington, beside her second husband Eldridge Lewis who died in 1991, they share a headstone.

Survivors included her children, two daughters, Mrs. Betty (Brewer) Williams and her husband Wayne of Wenatchee, Washington, and Mary (Brewer) Van Rijn of Odessa, Washington; three sons, Edward Brewer and his wife Ruth, Donald Brewer of Odessa, Washington, and Richard Brewer of Spokane, Washington; 17 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband; one son, Bill Brewer; and her parents.

While working on the Clark family story, I began corresponding with Agnes's granddaughter, and later with Agnes's daughter Betty. Betty and I have been corresponding a long time now. Agnes told her children she had never seen a photo of her mother when her mother was a young woman. My mother had given me a photograph of Mary Elizabeth Clark when she was young and before her marriage. My mother was Agnes's cousin and niece of Agnes's mother, and knew her Aunt Lizzy when mom was growing up in Missouri). I sent the photo of Mary Elizabeth and Agnes's daughter and granddaughter printed and framed it and gave it to Agnes on Mother's Day in about 2002. They told me that she loved it and said it was the best gift they could have given her. A happy event for all of us. (This photo appears with the bio of Mary Elizabeth (Clark) Gerdes on the listings for Cabool City Cemetery, Cabool, Texas Co., Missouri on this website, U S Cemetery Project.)

When I saw the photo of Agnes that her daughter, Betty, sent, I thought of how pleased Mary Elizabeth would be, to see how beautiful her daughter was.

Photo of Agnes Clara (Gerdes) Brewer Lewis was shared by her daughter Mrs. Betty Williams.

This page was updated: Sunday, 14-Aug-2011 22:58:46 CDT

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